Stretching into Success

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Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said:

Make the most of yourself...for that is all there is of you.

These words have resonated with me across my career - and they continue to inspire me to be my best self each day. However, inspiration and aspiration without execution are of little value.

When I am working with people who aspire to the next level in their leadership career, we often touch on the space between aspiration and execution.

This space can be fraught with challenges that require us to stretch into heightened levels of discomfort to overcome them.

Some challenges are very tangible, for instance we may need to secure further education, experience or expertise. The goals are not too complex and the road can be mapped.

Other challenges are less tangible, and therefore much trickier. These are the ones that we need to unpack and explore.

They may be hidden in plain sight, in the form of self-doubt,  Imposter Syndrome  blind-spots or biases.

Whether faced with tangible or intangible challenges, left unattended they can block us from executing our aspirations.

Stretching into success is to feel the knot of discomfort, and to acknowledge and address our challenges.

My current stretch is to make my coaching service more innovative, flexible and responsive to the needs of the people I support. The knot of discomfort tells me I am stretching into success.

Check your own stretch. At the end of each business day take a moment to reflect:

  1. Did I step out of my comfort zone and experience the knot of discomfort? What was my stretch?
  2. Did I engage with one or more people beyond my own circle? What is my follow up?
  3. Did I convert a difficult conversation into a developmental conversation? What was the outcome?
  4. Did I suspend my own views and judgement and listen to alternative views? Did I adopt any of these?
  5. How will I stretch into my success tomorrow? What offers me the greatest stretch?

Remember, none of us are coasting into success - it's a stretch.

I have shared my knot of discomfort, what is yours?

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